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USA in driver’s seat for 2026 World Cup bid after Europe is prohibited by FIFA

North America’s chances skyrocket

FIFA Council Meeting - Part II Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

Stop us if you’ve heard this before. The United States are in great position to host a World Cup in the next decade. The FIFA Council decided on Friday that European countries will be prohibited from making true bids host the 2026 World Cup so soon after Russia hosts in 2018.

FIFA state that it’s rotational policy of making sure every federation has a fair chance to host makes Europe hosting unfair in their eyes. They will be limited to standby status in case any of the competing bids from around the world aren’t up to standard.

"The feeling amongst the council is rather positive towards expansion," said Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

This decision could very well pave the way for the United States to win a bid to host the tournament in some fashion. There have been talks in the past of a possible joint bid between the USA and Mexico and even whispers that Canada could jump in as well to help North America’s chances.

"That has changed the landscape [of the 2026 contest] a little bit," said U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati, a FIFA Council member.

There’s still a lot to be decided on what exactly the USA’s bid will look like, but you can be assured they’ll be among the favorites to win it. Many expected them to have a great chance of winning the 2022 bid, but they lost out to Qatar after some shady politics that eventually led to the widespread corruption investigation by U.S. authorities that lead to FIFA’s current reform efforts under Infantino.

The new President is thinking of making major changes to the world’s most prestigious sporting event by expanding it to 40 or 48 teams.

The bidding process for the 2026 World Cup isn’t expected to be resolved until 2020 after it was postponed due to the corruption investigation.